1/48 Tamiya Bf109 E-4, Maj. Helmut Wick, Geschwaderkommodore JG 2, Beaumont, France – Nov 1940
The appearance of this aircraft comes from a period in time when it was flown by Maj. Helmut Wick, and after many modifications to the camouflage scheme and tactical markings. The changes mirrored not only Wick’s ascension through the ranks as Staffel CO, to Gruppe leader to commanding officer of JG 2, but also the prescribed changes to Luftwaffe camouflage specifications in the second half of 1940. Our reconstruction of the aircraft shows as it appeared in its final guise, when Maj. Wick (as the Luftwaffe’s most successful ace at that time) was killed in combat with Spitfires on November 28, 1940. The aircraft carried a standard scheme of 02/71/65. The light blue fuselage sides were darkened with a light overspray of RLM 71 applied with the blunt end of a brush. The yellow rudder was similarly dulled. The yellow rudder and nose segments were part of later marking modifications. The fuselage retains evidence of the double chevron marking denoting the CO of the Gruppe. Besides the tactical markings, the JG 2 unit insignia was carried below the cockpit, and on the front fuselage, Wick’s original 3. Staffel. The pilot’s personal emblem, the flying kingfisher, was partly oversprayed with the Kommodor insignia, over which the emblem was partially reconstructed. This aircraft had the armored windscreen removed towards the end of its career, but was still mounted when Wick led I./JG 2.
One interesting point regarding the national markings on the bottom of the wings and fuselage sides that was present on many JG 2 Emils, including Wick’s 5344, was that the fuselage markings had an accentuated black border at the expense of the white segments, while those on the bottom of the wings were modified as indicated in our illustrations.